Books et al.COGNITIVE SCIENCE

The history and future of neurological care

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Science  19 Apr 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6437, pp. 243-244
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw5446

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Summary

Oliver Sacks's inexhaust­ible curiosity, his sharpness of wit, and his special ability to create, maintain, and write about meaningful friendships, often with his patients, lent his writing humane, uncommon compassion. All of these most endearing qualities are on full display in Everything in Its Place: First Loves and Last Tales, a posthumous collection of Sacks's essays. But understanding why his ability to tell stories possessed such resonance requires another tale all together. Historian Anne Harrington offers a version of that story in her latest masterpiece, Mind Fixers: Psy­chiatry's Troubled Search for the Biology of Mental Illness. Her book, not about Sacks but focused on his historical context, complements his col­lection of essays by providing a readable, revisionist synthesis that shows that mind and brain medicine has not come as far as we imagine or wish.

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